The human body, with all its capabilities, is somewhat fragile. It is prone to disease and the ravages of time. Man had to start experimenting with ways to roll back these factors, and therefore medicine began to evolve with the first stones of civilization.
History has revealed records of medical illnesses and ways of treating them, dating back thousands of years. Over time, the advancement of medicine has grown by leaps and bounds. Medicine was treated as an art in the early ages and was heavily tinged with overtones of religion and philosophy in certain cultures. Healers were considered spiritual healers who chanted prayers while applying herbal concoctions to patients to rid them of disease. Roman and Greek physicians devised a meticulous system of treatment based on four bodily fluids known as humors. The excess or deficiency of humors would bring with it diseases. In India, Ayurveda was used to treat people from 1500 BC. C. with a thorough knowledge of human anatomy and surgical procedures.
In modern times, medicine is still considered an art, as the skill required in complex procedures that can only come with practice. However, medicine today walks hand in hand with science rather than religion. Once man had technology at his fingertips, medicine has grown exponentially. It is not necessary to open a body to examine its interior, we have machines for scans that reveal the innermost workings of the human body, which was previously shrouded in mystery. The machines perform complex operations with exact measurements in tiny spaces in delicate tissues of the body. We are still developing systems to save lives and keep disease at bay with more convenience and it has led us today to the future of online medical practice.
Online medical consultation can have profound effects on the medical landscape. Will it be possible to receive a diagnosis without physically consulting a doctor using online reports? Will healthcare lose its personal touch when devices appear instead of caring hands? Is online medical consultation the revolutionary health care method we need to keep up with our fast-paced lifestyle?
How is it going to help you? Here are some pros and cons that you can mentally weigh before going to meet with a doctor online.
For those who need a second opinion or a follow-up consultation with a doctor, it is not financially viable to attend a visit and pay the full amount. Since the time slots and the corresponding fees are fixed, they typically tend to be lower than the fees for a walk-in appointment. Follow-up queries can be easily solved in text.
Medical help is expensive, and without health insurance, people have to bear the brunt of long bills. Online medical consultation is a cheaper alternative for the uninsured to get the help they need.
No time or location restrictions
Need to get that mysterious back pain checked, but your 9 to 7 job won’t let you do it? Just pick up your phone and ask for a doctor. You can text your concerns to your doctor in the comfort of your home, in your car, or even at your office desk.
Most jobs don’t allow a lot of spare time. If you are one of the lucky ones with a two-day weekend, you will find that many doctors are not available on the weekends. With online consultations, you can speak with a doctor 24 hours a day as long as you have a few minutes.
Even if we manage to go to a clinic, we are always afraid that we will end up contracting an infection of that type that whines and sneezes violently next to us. Striving not to breathe any germs and all that agonizing waiting actually adds to the mental stress that can aggravate any illness we may have. It definitely helps to sit in the comfort of your home and calmly raise any concerns you may have.
The distance from your home to a healthcare facility is often one of the biggest challenges you face. Some are ill-equipped to travel long distances to a healthcare facility, some have had the homes of nearby healthcare providers taken away, but they may need urgent answers to the problems they are experiencing. If you are lucky enough to own a car, you must account for your gas bill, waiting in overwhelming traffic, and stressing about getting a place to park. For those who do not own a car, waiting for public transportation is another issue they must deal with before they can receive the care they need.
The online medical consultation can give you answers to your health questions even while sitting on your couch in your pajamas. Answers are almost instantaneous, which is good for those who need answers urgently. Rural areas where medical resources are scarce will especially benefit from online consultation. Those who live in rural areas of developing countries have to travel to cities to obtain adequate medical care. Online consultation will be helpful in such cases, as they can also receive advice from specialists.
The first thing we do when we start to show off mysterious pain in our bodies is Google the symptoms. Like many before us, the results most of the time are fatal diseases that scare us. With countless health tips and articles online, people end up following things that they have read on the net and which, in most cases, are written by inexperienced people. This can be dangerous as self-medication can go terribly wrong. The online medical consultation allows us to present these inquiries to verified medical experts who can provide you with prudent advice on what to do and what not to do.
Using electronic prescriptions
Today, doctors can send electronic prescriptions to pharmacies and you can go directly to the pharmacy to pick up your medications. This is especially helpful for people who are on treatment plans that need refills from time to time. Your doctor can remotely send you a prescription without you having to physically go to pick up a prescription for a refill. This makes life easier for those who take asthma medications or need birth control pills.
The electronic prescribing system encourages interactions between pharmacists and doctors. With physical prescriptions, physicians generally do not know whether their patients are receiving the prescription drugs or store-recommended alternatives in case the prescription drugs are not available. Alternatives may not follow a patient. In many cases, physicians using the e-prescribing system can see if the patient can afford the prescription drugs or suggest cheaper alternatives.
Security and privacy
Many people with problems that they find embarrassing are hesitant to go to doctors and get the help they need. In such cases, they can be guided through an online consultation. They can avoid a face-to-face conversation and talk about their problems with the doctors, knowing that their privacy is intact.
A common question that frequently arises regarding online consultation is whether confidential patient and physician information is secure. Most online services comply with HIPAA or the Health Portability and Accountability Act, which ensures that medical information is protected in terms of privacy and security, digital or otherwise. Most countries have health laws that protect the privacy of health information provided to physicians. Other than that, healthcare technology platforms typically have security systems and servers to make sure your information is not attacked.
Knowing your body better
In some cases, a doctor may ask you to examine your body’s symptoms to be more clear about what the problem might be. As such, you will learn how to probe that suspicious-looking lump or examine your inflamed sinuses. You will be able to better assess what kind of help you need in case these problems reappear. Although it is always best to have a doctor examine you personally; In the absence of such means, you may have access to some guidance regarding worrisome symptoms.
While it is definitely recommended that doctors personally review any medical issues as that will lead to a more accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Minor problems can be a warning sign of something serious that needs a careful physical exam. However, for health problems that are not very urgent, online medical consultation can eliminate many of the hassles involved in getting proper care. Most online doctors are verified experts who have their practice offline, but they also operate online.
So when in doubt, just pick up your phone, help is just a few taps away.